Disaster Response Procedures


Water damaged property                                                                                               Fire damaged property


The Conservation Center Disaster Response Department can be contacted 24-hours at 312.543.1462 or during business hours at 1.800.250.6919.

Reporting a loss

If known, the following information will allow our staff to determine the appropriate response to the loss:

  1. Insurance contact information
  2. Restoration vendor information
  3. Client information
  4. Location/date of the loss
  5. Number of art related items
  6. Type of object
  7. Artists, if known
  8. Dimensions/weight, if known
  9. Market value, if known
  10. Type of damage
  11. Extent of damage
  12. Environmental conditions

The Center's Ethics and Philosopy to determine what should be considered for conservation:

  • The Center’s fees are based on time and materials, not on the value of an item.
  • High quality photographs can be emailed to us if you need our assistance in determining if conservation is a viable option.
  • We can refer you to specialty appraisers that can assist with establishing approximate values if values are unknown or out of date.
  • It is a conflict of interest for The Center to establish values.
  • The Center’s team of experts has the philosophy of “the least invasive and most reversible treatment approach is most often the best approach”

Shipment of items to The Center for examination

In order to provide detailed condition assessments and treatment proposals, we will arrange to have the items shipped to The Center for examination by our conservation staff.

Depending on the size, quantity and value of the works, the following shipping options will be arranged to transport the items to The Center for examination:

  1. Drop off at the most convenient authorized FedEx ship center store, which our staff can locate for you, for packaging and mailing to The Center.
  2. Delivery through our nationwide network of professional art handlers.
  3. Packing and delivery to The Center by our in-house Transportation Department.

Our shipping partners will safely package and send the items to The Conservation Center based on our specifications and instructions.

We provide in-transit insurance coverage up to $2 million and in-house coverage up to $10 million. Prior to shipment, please make The Center aware of individual items which exceed the value of $100,000.

Inventory, examination and preparation of treatment proposal

Once the works arrive at The Center, they are inventoried, photographed and examined by our conservators. Based on the results of the assessment, a proposal is prepared within 10-12 business days which entails a description and photograph of each item, its condition and the recommended treatment. Inventories with more then 50 items will require a longer assessment period.

The treatment proposal includes itemized fees for each work, which are based on the time and materials required for repair.  The summary section provides a total cost for all services required, including shipping, handling and assessment fees as well as storage charges. Storage fees are charged per item per month based on the overall dimensions of the work and begin to accrue 15 days after the treatment proposal is sent and 15 days after the final invoice is sent.

Pre- and Post- loss identification report

Pre-loss conditions are noted when applicable in the condition report. In some cases, such as surface cleaning, these conditions may be undertaken as a required element of repairs to address damage as a result of the loss. When the repair of pre-loss condition issues can be treated as supplementary work, the proposed treatment is detailed as an additional treatment option. These additional repairs can be undertaken at the client’s request and billed separately as appropriate.

Report and approval forms

When the proposal is completed, it will be faxed, emailed or posted for review to the appropriate parties. An approval form is attached at the end of the proposal, with areas to detail both approved and unapproved items. No work is undertaken prior to receipt of the signed approval form.

Treatment time

When we process the approval, an authorization record is prepared which details the items to be treated, the projected final balance due and the estimated completion date. This is sent along with the half pre-payment invoice stating the balance due to begin work. In most instances, treatment is completed within 4 to 12 weeks from the date of approval.

Unapproved items

Items that are not approved for treatment, or which cannot be repaired due to the extent of damage or their inherent condition, can be discarded upon request. Unapproved and untreated items can be returned upon payment of any balance due, including shipping, handling,  storage and assessment fees where applicable.

Completion and return

Upon completion of treatment, an invoice will be sent detailing remaining balance due. Receipt of the balance due will authorize return shipment or delivery. Once the items are returned, shipments should be opened and examined within 7 days of receipt to determine client satisfaction with the completed work.

Client care during treatment

Recognizing the emotional and historical importance of works of art to their owners, our staff is available at all times to work with clients, adjusters and homeowners to answer all questions related to our procedures and proposed treatments. Our administrative staff will also work with you to review alternative treatment options when necessary, determine the selection of appropriate individuals to approve treatments, or respond to special cases where emergency treatment or preliminary on-site examinations are required. We are also happy to arrange visits to The Center to tour the facility, meet with the conservators and review pending treatments as well as those in progress.